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Protectors of our fragile world A reflection on St Francis of Assisi.

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1 Protectors of our fragile world A reflection on St Francis of Assisi

2 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

3 “Creation is a wonderful gift that God has given us so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.” Pope Francis

4 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) “We praise you, Lord, for all your creatures, especially for Brother Sun, who is the day through whom you give us light.”

5 “We praise you, Lord, for Sister Water, so useful, humble, precious and pure.”

6 “We praise you, Lord, for our neighbours, for those who reach out to us in the most difficult times.” Adapted from the Canticle of the Sun, St Francis of Assisi

7 “How countless are your works, Lord, all of them made so wisely! The earth is full of your creatures” Psalm 104:24

8 “Rain down, you heavens from above, and let the clouds pour down saving justice... I, the Lord, have created it!” Isaiah 45:8-9

9 God has given us an abundant world to tend and share. Yet all over the world we can see how we have failed to protect our planet.


11 90% of people who die in natural disasters live in the poorest countries.



14 “There are other weak and defenceless beings who are frequently at the mercy of economic interests and indiscriminate exploitation. I am speaking of creation as a whole.” Pope Francis

15 Climate change is the biggest threat to reducing poverty today.

16 “The climate has changed. During the worst drought, most nights we went to bed without eating anything.” Sinteyo Legei, mother of five, Diocese of Isiolo, Kenya

17 In the spirit of St Francis of Assisi, we stand alongside our neighbours and the whole of creation.

18 “Francis, repair my church.”

19 “Which of these, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” … “Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do the same yourself.’” Luke 10:36-7

20 “The changing climate means people need to work together. It’s important to support each other and be a neighbour.” Sinteyo Legei

21 “Toward little worms [St Francis] glowed with great love... he picked them up from the road and placed them in a safe place, lest they be crushed by the feet of the passerby.” Thomas of Celano


23 “I want us to be a church that is poor and for the poor” Pope Francis, March 2013



26 “We human beings are not only the beneficiaries but also the stewards of other creatures.” Pope Francis


28 “Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us, as Christians, are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live, and all its peoples.” Pope Francis




32 Creator God, Awaken us to see how every tree and every petal is precious in your sight. In our hands, you place your trust to care for creation.

33 Through brother sun, your light guides us. Through brother wind, your whisper stirs us, Through our neighbour, you set our hearts on fire.

34 May we turn to love you more deeply, And live as true neighbour to all. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. Saint Francis, pray for us.

35 Illustration: St Francis of Assisi by Simon David Photos: Ataklti Mulu/CAFOD, Dominic Nahr/CAFOD, Annie Bungeroth/CAFOD, Ataklti Mulu/CAFOD, Barbara Davies/CAFOD, Nick Harrop/CAFOD, Mazur/, Simon Rawles/CAFOD, Ryan Worms/Caritas Internationalis, Pilar Olivares Novoa/CAFOD, Stuart Matthews/CAFOD Prayer: Rachel McCarthy/CAFOD

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